If this excerpt
about ex-Trail Blazer Billy Ray Bates
when he played in the Phillipines is any indication of the rest of Rafe Bartholemew's book (Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball)
, the hoops book just leaped to the top of my Father's Day list.
This 2004 "whatever happened to" piece
about Bates in Willamette Week
gets a mention in Bartholomew's book excerpt. The author cites the comments section in the online version of the 2004 WW
piece as showing the wide range of fan feelings about Bates. Agreed.
My favorite line among many in Bartholomew's excerpt about Bates, a legend on the court for his explosiveness — and off the court for his drinking:
"... one of his boasts became the quote that summed up his PBA career: "The only way I can be stopped is to handcuff my right arm to my leg.""
In his prime, that was true. I was lucky enough to see Bates play in his prime with the Blazers. Here's my favorite memory (the third highlight in this montage of great buzzer-beaters in Blazers' history):